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Why Children?

Why do we care so much about children? Besides the biblical mandate to do so, we also care about children because they are human beings who are created in the image of God, because they need the love of Christ, and because they play an important role in the future of the world.  

Here are some important facts about why they matter:

  1. Because there are so many. Almost one third of the world’s population – nearly 2 billion people – is under the age of 18 [1]. Never before in history have there been so many children among us, and never have so many of them been at such great risk.
  2.  Because the next generation is suffering. More than 26,500 children under the age of five will die today and every day, mostly from easily preventable diseases [2].
  3. Because many children are unwanted. Some estimate that between 10 and 100 million children and youths live on the streets [3]. Each one of these children represents a failure on the part of some adult to provide care, nurture and a safe haven.
  4. Because the younger generation is exploited. 1.2 million children are trafficked every year into the worst forms of child labor, including bonded labor, prostitution and armed conflict [4]. These children are crying out for a biblical response of justice, mercy and love from the Christian community.

 

[1] United Nations, “World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision Executive Summary,” Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 7–9, http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wpp2006/English.pdf.
[2] UNICEF, State of the World’s Children 2008: Child Survival (New York: UNICEF, 2007), iii.
[3] UNICEF, “Street Children,” http://www.unicef.org/sowc06/profiles/street.php (accessed April 29, 2008).
[4] International Labour Organization, Every Child Counts: New Global Estimates on Child Labour (ILO, International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour, Statistical Informational Monitoring Programme on Child Labour, April 2002).

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